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Failing / Zimmerman Cemetery
Town of Tonawanda, Erie County, New York
ATKINSON, Willie Ross
BELLINGER, Ada L.
Frederick Bleyle, a veteran of the Civil War was born January 9, 1806, and died August 27, 1890.
Mrs. ( Jane ) John Cherry, born 1791, died February 19, 1860.
- David and Jeremiah Faling's graves are marked by large pillars.
- Jeremiah and David Faling's graves are marked by large pillars.
- The Failing homestead was settled about 1815. Mary Ann,
- Michel Martin, born in France, died January 27, 1898.
- Jacob Wire, born 1772 - died June 21, 1857.
- Adam Zimmerman, the first settler on Delaware Road, born 1786, died August 30, 1839.
- Peter Zimmerman, died December 20, 1854.
- Richard Failing, died August 27, 1868.
- William Zimmerman, born January 14, 1796, died July 31, 1871.
Amid the tidy homes along the east side of Delaware Road at Willowbreeze Road in the Town of Tonawanda sits a most unusual site; the Faling Cemetery, one of the oldest burial grounds in Western New York. According to Town Historian John W. Percy, the Faling and Zimmerman families were among the first to settle along the old Indian trail that would become Delaware Avenue
When Richard Faling's daughter, Mary Ann, died at 6 weeks of age in 1816, his wife conducted the funeral and interred the baby on their property. Additional burials followed during the remaining years of the century. More than 180 years later, time has taken its toll on the small cemetery. Many of the names on the weather-beaten markers are indecipherable, spindly trees nearly outnumber the number of graves, and a black iron fence casts an ominous barrier around the cemetery.
Still, the gravestones of several war heroes, along with a number of distinguished pioneers, are identifiable at the cemetery. A Civil War soldier, Frederick Bleyle, who died in 1890, is buried here, as are four veterans of the War of 1812. Jeremiah and David Faling's graves are marked by large pillars. And a prominent black column marks the grave of former town supervisor Jacob Wire, who died in the 1850s.
Toward the end of the 19th century, Faling Cemetery was a popular burial ground for local residents, Percy said. But in 1901, the plot thickened. With the opening of Elmlawn Cemetery, many families moved their graves to that site and Faling fell into disrepair. Under state law, the Town of Tonawanda is charged with maintaining the cemetery, Percy said. In 1976, as part of the nation's bicentennial, the graveyard was rededicated by the Historical Society
Article in the Sunday "Magazine"
section of the Buffalo News, 1996
Buffalo, New York, author - Brenda Alesii
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